Eve Muirhead’s Scottish rink have put themselves in pole position in the European Curling Championships as victories over Sweden and Norway helped maintain their 100 per cent winning record.
After a day one victory over Italy, confidence was high on home soil at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena, further boosted by getting the better of Sochi 2014 Olympic silver medallists Sweden 6-5 in the morning session.
Scotland had been trailing by the end of the fourth end when skip Anna Hasselborg drew for two for a 2-1 advantage.
But Muirhead fought back with a double of her own in the fifth end, putting her rink 3-2 ahead, a lead they couldn't add to in a hotly-fought encounter.
And it came down to the very last end, the skip sealing the victory with the one point required, completing an impressive victory against the country that pipped Team GB to Olympic Games silver two years ago.
"I thought we played great out there. My team were fantastic and that makes my job easier when you have your team playing so well," said Muirhead.
"Yes, I made it difficult for myself in the last end there but you know you've got to come out with those 'clinking' shots to win, and we managed that.
"The crowd have been fantastic and even for an eight o'clock in the morning draw to see so many people supporting us is great."
And it was to get better for the home favourites, a convincing 10-5 victory over Norway adding to what has been an exemplary start.
By the finale of the sixth end, it was Scotland boasting the four-point advantage, though Norway refused to give up, winning three points across two frames reducing the game to 6-5.
But in going for the victory, their valiant effort came up just short in Glasgow, Muirhead stealing four from the last end to add gloss to the scoreline, putting her rink on top of the round robin stage without defeat to their name.
It's a position they hold outright after Russia, who had begun their campaign with two wins, slipped up to Sweden 11-4. Denmark got their second win by the narrowest of margins, beating Switzerland 7-6, while Czech Republic beat Italy 10-3.
It was to be a strong Scottish day all round in Glasgow, with Tom Brewster’s rink claiming victory of their own, beating defending champions Sweden – the rink who had knocked his out of last year’s competition.
Brewster had earlier played down the expectations of a home tournament at Braehead Arena, finding his squad up against it 4-2 down at the conclusion at the seventh end.
But a resurgent eighth end saw the Scots take three to put them into the lead for the first time against a side who had ended their hopes of glory 12 months ago.
Despite their advantage, plenty of work still remained, with Brewster, Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson and Hammy McMillan delivering with aplomb to deliver another trio, now celebrating back-to-back wins after defeat in their first match of the tournament.
"The guys played great there," said skip, Brewster.
"Anything could have happened and we got a couple of rubs and played a couple of good shots in that last end and that took us away from them.
"You always have to be patient – the same as yesterday. You know they're a great side, you know they're going to come at you.
"You know it's all about taking your twos and forcing your ones."